Japanese Plum Festivals to Visit in February and March

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Japanese Plum Festivals to Visit in February and March

The season of Jamanese plum blossoming is approaching in Japan. While now blossoming cherry trees make for a more well-known attraction, for centuries Japanese plum, also known as Japanese apricot, played a very important role in Japanese culture.

Plum blossoms are some of the first to appear after winter time, thus plum is widely associated with spring, new life, expectations and good luck. Japanese plum trees blossom across the country in the months of February and March. There are quite a few locations to celebrate plum festivals (ume matsuri). Similar to cherry trees plum trees in Japan have many varieties, but unlike their more famous counterpart, plum flowers ooze a pleasant and stront fragrance.

Here are the best spots to enjoy these spectacular blossoms.

In Tokyo and around, some popular plum blossom spots include:
– Landscape gardens of Kairakuen in Ibaraki prefecture – the plum festival is held here from February 16 to March 31, 2019.
– Landscape gardens in the very centre of Tokyo, Koishikawa Korakuen – from February 9 to March 3, 2019.
– Yushima Tenjin Shrine in Ueno park where students congregate to ask for successful pass fo the exams – from February 8 to March 8 (wekends and holidays).
– A small public city park of Hanegi Park in the central Tokyo – from February 9 to March 3, 2019 (wekends and holidays).

In Kyoto, a special tea ceremony (Baikasai) will be held in the garden of Kitanu Tenmangu Shrine devoted to Tenjin on February 25.

In Osaka, the plum festival will be held in the largest public Expo '70 Commemorative Park from February 16 to March 17, 2019

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